In the Best Traditions of the Bards...

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Sounds of Music: In the Best Traditions of the Bards...
   By Clansman on Friday, July 10, 2009 - 02:41 pm: Edit Post

Bards used to be the political conscious of the ruling class, crafting poetry or songs that could be quite scathing.

Dave Carroll is a musician from Nova Scotia (Atlantic Canada is possibly the most musical place on the planet), who's beloved Taylor guitar (these are really beautiful instruments) was broken by baggage handlers at Chicago's O'Hare Int'l. United Airlines refused to fix it. In actual fact, while on the plane, the person in the seat behind him said "My God! They are throwing guitars around out there!" He and his band members were horrified, to say the least. Carroll had a year long saga of trying to get his guitar repair paid for. Nothing happened, and he placed the video below on Youtube on July 6. By today, July 10, it has had more than 1.4 million hits. Catchy tune too, and according to Canadian press, United has contacted Carroll about using his video for training purposes.

The cutest bit is the text at the end of the video: "No Taylor guitars were harmed in the making of this video".

Here'e the link:

The question is, what other songs that you know of have had an impact that changed things. Post 'em here. Very applicable, given Arithon's impact as Masterbard of Athera.

   By Trys on Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 12:58 pm: Edit Post


I love (LOVE) the image of the broken guitar in the chalk outline.

And just to put perpective on 'really beautiful instrument'... I found a page that quotes Mr Carroll's guitar at $3500.

That said, the $3500 question is this, did Uhited Airlines pay him for the damage?

   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 01:27 pm: Edit Post

There's a related CNN youtube that indicates United is in discussions with Mr. Carroll to "make things right". There's also this....

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 05:43 pm: Edit Post

Oh that is brilliant!!! Bout time somebody made the point about taking responsibility for mistakes with these bozos.

1) I NEVER fly with my guitars, would not trust them to baggage, period...when the pipes fly, they go with ME, even if I have to disassemble them completely (not possible with a guitar)

2) I have a custom 6 string, privately made by a gifted luthier called Pete Estes. When I asked Pete for an "estimate" (years and years ago) so I could list the guitar on my homeowners' policy - he gave me a detailed breakdown of the MATERIALS ONLY, and their cost - all exotic woods, many from tropical trees (rosewood, ebony) now threatened by over logging - the cost THEN was $1600 bucks, not a penny of which was his exceptionally skilled labor...just the materials, wood and the price of this guitar is not out of limit or exaggerated...

Go bards, yay for youtube!

The PR spin doctors cannot keep secrets any longer...hah!

What a RIDE, seeing it come home - yes, I've suffered many years of frustrations being stonewalled by employees behind counters, concerning what happens to delicate stuff like musical instruments and art when you tag the bag and let it out of your sight.

Trys, when flying, in the fine print, airlines typically disown responsibility. In the event of LOSS they will pay out only a set limit...breakage is not very kindly handled, in my experience (with asking about what happens to mishandled paintings - we ended up packing them for gorillas playing football and trampoline.)

   By Peter Estes on Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 12:03 pm: Edit Post


I checked my records and my original estimate of value was $1600, $395 of which was for materials. Even that $395 figure was marked up from my initial cost. Although it is possible to spend $1600 on materials alone these days especially if Bob Taylor used some of the more exotic materials that are available now.

   By Janny Wurts on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 04:19 pm: Edit Post

Ah, Peter, Hi!

Sorry I recalled are such a shy guy of so few words. I LOVE THE GUITAR.

More people should hear your work....!!!

What did you think of that link?

Did you know there is an enterprising fellow in Canada who wants to try building a lyranthe?

   By Peter Estes on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 08:39 pm: Edit Post

Hi Janny,

I have put thought to the lyranthe myself. I wish him luck and hope that he is successful. There appear to be some similarities between the Irish Bouzouki and your lyranthe. I bought a copy of Graham McDonalds excellent study on building Irish bouzoukis and citterns but have yet to put it to use in the workshop. The multiple tuning pegs in such a fragile looking headstock frightens me. And I never could figure out the way the body curves away from the soundboard into the soundchest. Perhaps it is best left to fantasy.

I heard a similar story of a fellow who watched his expensive twelve string on its way up the loading ramp into the cargo hold of a plane. As it approached the top it got nudged to the edge of the ramp and finally fell to the ground. He was devastated. I am with you on keeping instruments at home that can not be easily replaced. The link to the first video in the discussion did not work for me, thankfully. It would probably have broken my heart. Those Taylors look like great instruments. I understand why some successful musicians insist on traveling in their own bus.

I am glad you like the guitar. I was concerned about the neck. A classical I made a couple of years after yours had a neck from the same piece of mahogany. I carved the neck a little thin and it warped to an unplayable state after a number of years. Your instrument does have a powerful neck adjusting rod though which the classical was lacking.

As always I was saddened to hear the missing paintings have yet to surface.

   By Clansman on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 08:09 am: Edit Post

Incidentally, the original video that inspired this thread is now up to over 5,749,000 hits.

I think Mr. Carroll has struck a chord...

The pun was irresistable.

   By Walt on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 09:17 am: Edit Post

You just like to string things along Clanny!

(you knew that SOMEone had to say it...)

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 10:06 am: Edit Post

Pete - the neck is absolutely perfect! No worries.

No way that lyranthe could be built without a tension rod, either, and probably (practically) the proportions may need to be altered. Let's see - the maker just got the packet with the drawings and blow-ups of the paintings...if you are ever curious to tackle this, Pete, I'd send on the same.

You may wish to correspond with the luthier as a curiosity.

The video was funny - because the man turned his heartbreak into a very sarcastic, witty satire aimed to puncture the esteem of said airlines. I just roared with laughter, because we've all been victimized by handlers of baggage somewhere. My beautiful old Gibson guitar (given to me by my father) was cracked by baggage handlers taking it onto a boat to Africa. They tossed it down the chute, and sent the 50 lbs of iron that was base for my telescope AFTER it...the crack was braced, and never damaged the tone of the instrument, BUT, I've never trusted my guitars out of my hands AGAIN. Carry on or nothing! They stay home.

The missing paintings will surface. No question, someday.

   By Trys on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 01:05 pm: Edit Post

I just saw a story on CNN about Dave Carroll's continued woes with United Airlines. Firstly, according to the story, he has never been reimbursed the cost of repairing the guitar. But the main point of the news story was that Dave was flying to an event where he was to talk and the only way to get there was via United Airlines... and they lost his luggage. So he did not have the clothes he wanted to wear or the CDs of his music video about the situation regarding his guitar damage that were in the missing bag and that he planned to give away. Makes me wonder if his bag was 'targetted'.

United claims it delivers 99.6% of all luggage to its intended destination but the truly funny part is upon returning to CNN studios, after the story, of the three reporters there two said they had long standing issues with an airline (neither would identify which one) and one said that they never did get all of their stuff back.

Makes you think twice about checking in luggage.


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